The 3 Core Activities To Link Culture and Strategy

The Innovation Zen blog recently suggested a list of the top 10 ways to link culture and strategy. While Innovation Zen lists some good ideas, it seems to me the list misses or does not emphasise strongly what I believe are the three central activities for linking strategy and culture. These are:

  1. Identify your current culture, identify your ideal culture, tie your ideal culture to your strategic goals, and develop your culture to support and enable your strategy and evolve your strategy bearing in mind your culture and its capability to support and facilitate your strategic goals
  2. Cascade your strategy down through the organisation from CEO through to executives through to department heads through to team leaders by aligning each levels goals and performance metrics with the strategic plan
  3. Use Change Management techniques to communicate and implement all strategy as it relates to internal organisational development goals

Of course, the goal to link culture and strategy assumes that an organisation has a strategy and has a defined, managed culture. If not, then it will be difficult to link them effectively.

The Innovation Zen list is:

  1. Formal statements of organizational philosophy, charters, creeds, mission and vision statements
  2. Designing physical spaces, facades, and buildings to mimic the company’s beliefs
  3. Deliberate role modeling, teaching, and coaching by leaders.
  4. Explicit reward and status system for employees.
  5. Stories, legends, myths, parables about key people and events. (Think Sam Walton)
  6. What leaders pay attention to, measure, and control.
  7. Leader reactions to critical incidents and organization crises.
  8. How the organization is designed and structured, ie. hierarchy.
  9. Organization systems and procedures.
  10. Criteria used for promotion, retirement, and advancement.

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